Nonprofit Kit For Dummies, 6th Edition
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Every nonprofit organization is overseen by a group of people called the board of directors. These generous board members agree to accept responsibility for making sure the nonprofit organization remains true to its mission and purpose.

A board's primary governance responsibility is fiduciary, or to uphold the public trust, meaning:

  • Paying close attention to what's going on and making decisions based on good information

  • Putting the welfare of the organization above other interests when making decisions

  • Acting in accordance with the nonprofit's mission and goals

Active governance as a board member involves:
  • Reviewing the mission statement and goals of the organization on a regular basis

  • Participating in planning

  • If the organization has paid staff, hiring the executive director and reviewing his or her job performance

  • Reviewing the organization's budget and keeping well informed of its financial situation

  • Reviewing the performance of the organization's programs
  • Raising money for the organization

  • Setting, evaluating, and — if necessary — revising policies

  • Serving as an ambassador for the organization — making more people aware of its work

  • Recruiting additional board members and volunteers

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Beverly A. Browning, MPA, is a grant-writing course developer who has been consulting in the areas of grant writing, contract bid responses, and organizational development for more than 40 years. She has assisted clients throughout the United States in receiving awards of more than $430 million. Learn more at Stan Hutton is a senior program officer at the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation.

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